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IndoStar-1, which also known as Cakrawarta-1, is a communication satellite that was launched the evening of November 12, 1997 at 21:48 GMT aboard an Ariane 44L-3 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, as the first direct broadcasting satellite (DBS) in Asia, IndoStar-1 would initiate a new communication service for Indonesian society such as direct-to-home television.


The IndoStar-1 satellite (built as the first STAR spacecraft bus) was originally designed by Thomas van der Heyden and built by a team of engineers, who had up until the IndoStar program, focused on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites for the US government and NASA, at Defense Systems Inc (DSI). DSI was under a 1993 joint contract, together with its sister company International Technologies Inc. (ITI), for the on-orbit turn-key delivery of Indostar-1 for the Indonesian television broadcasting company PT Media Citra Indostar (MCI). The contract, which included; launch, Tracking Telemetry & Control Station, Up-Link Station for 50 MPEG television channels, Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) design, ITU regulatory filings, insurance, and spacecraft - was the first fully turn key contract in the commercial satellite industry for a satellite system.

In 1995 DSI was bought by Computer Technology Associates (CTA) to form their Space Systems division, and two years later sold to Orbital Sciences Corporation during the final stages of the satellite integration in early 1997. The Indostar-1 satellite design was developed from scratch by the DSI team to become the first GEO LightSat, their STAR Bus platform.


IndoStar-1 was the world's first commercial communications satellite that uses S-band frequency, which are less vulnerable to atmospheric interference than higher and more common frequencies of C-band and Ku-band frequencies. Provided high-quality transmissions to small-diameter antennas (70 cm) and penetrated the atmosphere efficiently, this satellite is well suited for Indonesia, the tropical climate country that has heavy rain. This satellite, which is managed and operated by PT Media Citra Indostar (MCI), provides a direct broadcast by high quality digital transmission. Operationally, IndoStar-1 satellite is used for commercial service by cable television. Cable television uses this satellite to relays international programs and local programs directly that can be received to all over Indonesia.

Indovision used this satellite for its program until they move to use IndoStar-2.

Description of IndoStar-1 Satellite[edit]

  • Status: Satellite was launched via Ariane (V102) in November 1997
  • Destination: Geosynchronous Orbit
  • Operator: PT MediaCitra Indostar [MCI], Jakarta
  • Performance Launch mass: 1,350 kg
  • Class: Communications
  • Mission: Provide direct broadcast television to Indonesia (high quality digital transmission, approximately >50 television channels)
  • Mission life: 7 years with fuel for 12 years
  • Designed by: Thomas van der Heyden
  • Manufacturer: DSI now Orbital Sciences Corporation

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